Blog: Max Dawson
April 14, 2016
The sting is not as bad today as it was last Sunday. I think a lot of folks could feel the pain with Jordan Spieth on Sunday. It was when he put his tee shot into the water on hole number twelve at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. It was even worse when he dumped his second ball into Rae’s Creek. He wound up taking a quadruple bogey, a seven, on that par three hole. Though he had more chances on the last few holes, the tournament was effectively over for Jordan Spieth after the twelfth. He finished in a tie for second place–just as he did in that tourney in 2014. And while he won the Masters last year, the sting of this year’s loss was still very painful for Spieth and for those who were pulling for him.
But Jordan Spieth was still a winner last Sunday.
Our family had an opportunity to meet him three years ago. It was at a small pro-am event just before the Shell Houston Open. Jordan Spieth and a handful of other pros were at the event. Such Houston celebs as Matt Schaub, former Houston Texans quarterback, were there. Several other sports and media figures were there.
Our granddaughter, Michaela, was enrolled in a golfing program called “The First Tee.” She was invited to carry Spieth’s scoring stanchion, and did so happily. It was a fun little tournament, with only a few hundred people present. Most of the attention was on Matt Schaub, the (then) popular Houston quarterback. Spieth drew little attention that day because he was not yet well-known. He was rather quiet, but friendly, signing a number of autographs.
It was not on that day that I was impressed with Spieth. It was last Sunday that he showed what kind of person he is. While most of the sporting world is focused on what many are calling Jordan’s “collapse,” I think a different focus is in order.
Throughout the tournament, Jordan Spieth was gracious and dignified. Even after that disastrous twelfth hole. After that devastating loss, he was still gracious in the post-game interviews on CBS, and then later on the Golf Channel. He thanked all the patrons (spectators) at the tournament. He said he was grateful for their encouragement that almost got him back into the lead. When he presented the coveted green jacket to Danny Willet, he did so in a way that showed his character. In post-game interviews he even said he was happy for Willet.
Class. Character. Gratitude. Dignity. Grace. Still a winner!


Contrast Spieth’s post-game interview with that of the losing quarterback in this year’s Super Bowl. It is a night and day contrast.
We have heard the media talk about politicians, rock-stars, and athletes who have had significant moral failings. The media has told us “Character doesn’t matter. People don’t care about that. It is skill, talent and ability that matter. As long as one can perform well, then character is not a consideration.”
The media were wrong when they began to say that twenty years ago. They are still wrong today.
Here are three lessons we can take home from last Sunday’s tournament.

1. Our response to trouble reveals the kind of person we have been all along. “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” ().
2. Treating others properly, no matter the situation, is always the right thing to do. Jesus told us to “do unto others as you would have them do to you” ().
3. Character does matter. It lasts. It has meaning. It is an expression of one’s personal integrity. It is more valuable than trophies or even a million-dollar payout at the Masters. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely” ().

Jordan Spieth–still a winner, even last Sunday. Because character still counts.

Have a great day, all day!


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